palestinain riot 298.88.
(photo credit: AP)
Hundreds of Palestinian policemen and security officers blocked all the routes to Gaza City on Thursday with rubbish bins and burning tires to demand their wages, which have been withheld for several months.
The policemen, some of whom were shooting in the air, toppled over several large bins and burned their contents. They also broke concrete blocks and spread the pieces all over the roads.
Most of the protesting police officers were part of the Palestinian Authority Preventive Security Force affiliated to Fatah and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
Until now, negotiations between Fatah and Hamas over the establishment of a PA unity government have failed. Hamas is refusing to accept the conditions set by the international community, including the recognition of Israel, and therefore, several donor nations have refused to renew the transfer of funds to the PA, leaving thousands of government workers unpaid.
"The motive for our protest is not political. We are motivated by the hunger of our children," said one of the protestors.
"Abbas and Haniyeh, we don't care about your problems. We only care about our well-being," said another in reaction to remarks by a Hamas-affiliated PA parliament member that political officials were behind the demonstrations.
Meanwhile, the PA government paid partial salaries to 165,000 civil servants on Thursday. The payments of US$350 (â‚¬275) come from money donated to the government by Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Acting Palestinian Finance Minister Samir Abu Eisha told a press conference. Qatar gave US$65 million (â‚¬51 million) and Saudi Arabia gave US$15 million (â‚¬12 million), he said.
AP contributed to this report